After receiving my new Garmin GPS(Map60CSX) in the mail a couple of weeks ago, I was at first surprised that it came w/o any really useful maps. Surely, I thought then, if not already installed, those could be downloaded from Garmin. Well, turns out that while researching the hardware capabilities and user experience aspects, I spent too little time looking at maps for the unit. Nothing is included with the unit.
So rather than paying Garmin for my maps, I went to gpsfiledepot.com and downloaded free maps. It takes some time to make sense of the file formats, and it’s not guaranteed that all the maps GPS File Depot will actually work with your unit. For example, my first attempt to download Texas coverage resulted in streets being labeled as C….. S….. rather than Cooper Street because apparently my GPS cannot display lower case letters at an angle. Most maps freely available for GPS appear to have been created with cgpsmapper, and there is no way to change existing IMG and TBD files to make them readable for my GPS, without re-doing them with cgpsmapper. But there are tons of maps there, and using Garmin’s Mapsource software (included with the GPS) you can display maps and selectively upload them to your unit. Read all about it at http://www.gpsdiscussion.com/garmin-gps/.
Since I am headed out to California this weekend and would like to take the GPS, I just made another attempt and downloaded Ibycus USA Map from gpsfiledepot.com. This time, I got lucky and street names appear correctly. All I need to do now is buy a larger Micro SD card to be able to store maps for the entire country, and then hopefully, I won’t be running of the road in the middle of nowhere.